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Post Malone, Dua Lipa, Chris Stapleton Perform

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The nation music world shared the stage on the 2024 ACM Awards, the place Submit Malone carried out songs from his upcoming nation album, Dua Lipa joined Chris Stapleton for a duet, and Avril Lavigne and Noah Kahan partnered with nation musicians onstage.

It virtually felt like Beyoncé — who not too long ago made historical past on the nation charts with Cowboy Nation — would possibly pop up. She didn’t Thursday night time, however host Reba McEntire did reference Queen Bey’s historic venture throughout her opening monologue.

We’re here to talk about country music and how everyone is invited and welcome here at country music’s party of the year. From Mother Maybelle to Cowboy Carter, country music is so big in 2024 that there’s room for everybody,” she mentioned. “We all love country [music] and we all are country, and we’re keeping the circle unbroken, but growing it to even bigger and better.”

Beyoncé made historical past when she turned the primary Black lady to high the Billboard nation albums and songs charts, respectively. Her album will qualify at subsequent yr’s ACM Awards.

However it was Lainey Wilson who was within the highlight on the two-hour occasion: She earned the highest award — entertainer of the yr — persevering with her profitable streak after gathering the identical honor on the CMA Awards final November and her first Grammy in February.

The one feminine nominated for the large award, Wilson beat out acts like Chris Stapleton, Luke Combs, Morgan Wallen, Jelly Roll, Kane Brown and Cody Johnson. She additionally received feminine artist of the yr and mentioned the camaraderie amongst ladies acts within the style is particular.

“There are so many women in country music who have guided me without even knowing it before I ever even got a chance to shake their hand and get to know them. They have taught me so much,” she mentioned at Ford Middle at The Star in Frisco, Texas. “It is crazy to think that me and Wynonna Judd, we talk every week, and she sends me devotionals, she lifts me up, she encourages me, she gives me advice … and that’s what it’s about right there. It’s about lifting each other up and speaking life over each other, all of us. We got to do that for each other. Iron sharpens iron, and so this one right here is for all those women who do that.”

Wilson additionally received music occasion of the yr for “Save Me” with Jelly Roll, who earned a standing ovation for his transferring speech.

“Seriously, this song saved me. I was in a dark place. I wrote it for my soul. I knew people would connect with it,” he mentioned emotionally. “I wrote it with a high school friend. We never thought we’d be songwriters. I never thought I’d be standing here. I thought I would die and go to jail. And I’m standing here as an ACM Award winner!”

Jelly Roll, who launched his debut mixtape 20 years in the past, has dominated the nation charts but in addition had some success on the rock and rap charts. Malone has combined genres equally, and he debuted new music from his nation album on the awards present to roaring cheers from the viewers.

The 28-year-old carried out “Never Love You Again” and a solo model of his Morgan Wallen-assisted single “I Had Some Help,” which was launched final week. Malone, who moved to Texas as a pre-teen, strummed his guitar whereas sporting Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott’s jersey, blue denims, boots and a military fatigue cap. His band additionally wore Cowboy jerseys (his father labored because the concessions supervisor for the NFL staff).

Lipa, who launched a brand new album this month, joined Stapleton for a smoky, bluesy duet of his music “Think I’m In Love With You.” Stapleton went on to win male artist of the yr and album of the yr for Increased, which he shared together with his musician-wife Morgane Stapleton, who co-produced the album and in addition sang background vocals throughout his efficiency.

Lavigne sang onstage with Parker McCollum whereas Kelsea Ballerini and Noah Kahan carried out his hit “Stick Season.” Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton additionally joined forces to carry out “Purple Irises.”

Shelton additionally honored Toby Keith, who died in February, earlier than introducing a tribute efficiency by Jason Aldean.

“Toby was a big star in every way. He sold more than 44 million albums with 33 No. 1 hits and 14 ACM awards, including entertainer of the year. But in the end, the mark that Toby left was much more than just that. Toby was a loving husband to his beautiful wife, Trisha, he was a proud father to their three kids, and we’re so honored and moved to have Trisha and the kids all here with us tonight,” Shelton mentioned. “Toby was a great friend to me and he was a real straight shooter who was larger than life.”

Aldean sang Keith’s “Should’ve Been A Cowboy” and strummed his guitar in his seat, whereas two guitarists behind him did the identical. They had been joined by two violists, a violinist and a cellist, and images of Keith had been proven on the massive display behind him as viewers members sang alongside.

“I love you Toby,” Aldean mentioned as Keith’s household, in addition to attendees, had been in tears.

“I kind of feel like you’re here with us tonight,” McEntire mentioned after the efficiency.

The ACM Awards additionally highlighted different nation legends throughout its present, which aired on Prime Video. Charley Pleasure’s spouse and son, Rozene Cohran and Dion Pleasure, offered an award, and Dion advised the viewers: “My father said, when he was alive, ‘I think there’s enough room for country music for everybody.’”

Ray Charles, who carried out on the ACMs 40 years in the past, was additionally honored when Kane Brown carried out his new cowl of  “Georgia on My Mind.”

McEntire closed the present with a rousing efficiency, and he or she additionally earned laughs from the viewers on the high of the present.

“They were just telling me backstage that I won my very first ACM Awards 40 years ago. I know what you’re thinking, ‘Reba, you’re only 39. How can that possibly be true?’ Quit it,” she mentioned. “But seriously, I have been around for a while. I can remember way back when Jelly Roll was an after-school snack, Luke was one of the Gospels, not half of the guys in country music, and a stagecoach was how I got to work.”

Others who received awards on Thursday included Combs, who earned single of the yr for his cowl of Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car” however missed the present due to his tour; Jordan Davis, who took dwelling music of the yr for “Next Thing You Know”; Dan + Shay received duo of the yr; and Previous Dominion had been named group of the yr.

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